Creators of This Is Spinal Tap sue Vivendi for $400M over breach of contract, declaratory judgment of copyright reversion claims

6 12 2017

On Thursday, October 19th, the creators of the 1984 rock band mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap filed a second amended complaint against French mass media company Vivendi SA (EPA:VIV) in the Central District of California. The lawsuit, which includes trademark and copyright claims, alleges that Vivendi and its subsidiaries provided fraudulent accounting to the plaintiffs which resulted in greatly reduced royalty payments over the course of decades. The plaintiffs, which include the movie’s director Rob Reiner as well as performers/co-creators Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean, are seeking more than $400 million in compensatory and punitive damages from Vivendi and Universal Music Group.

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CBS sues man for copyright over screenshots of 59-year-old TV show

6 12 2017
CBS has sued a photographer for copyright infringement for doing something that’s practically ubiquitous in the news and entertainment business—publishing still images from a television show.

The lawsuit against New York photojournalist Jon Tannen, filed on Friday, is essentially a retaliatory strike. Tannen sued CBS Interactive in February, claiming that the online division of CBS had used two of his photographs without permission. Now, CBS has sued Tannen back, claiming that he “hypocritically” used CBS intellectual property “while simultaneously bringing suit against Plaintiff’s sister company, CBS Interactive Inc., claiming it had violated his own copyright.”

“Without any license or authorization from Plaintiff, Defendant has copied and published via social media platforms images copied from the ‘Dooley Surrenders’ episode of GUNSMOKE,” write CBS lawyers.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/10/cbs-sues-man-for-copyright-over-screenshots-of-59-year-old-tv-show/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Bruno Mars, Warner Music Named Defendants in a Copyright Lawsuit Over Social Media Photo

6 12 2017

On November 20th, both Peter Gene Hernandez, the American singer-songwriter-producer who goes by the professional name Bruno Mars, and New York City-based Warner Music Inc. were named as defendants in a copyright case filed in the Southern District of New York by Burbank, CA-based photographer Catherine McGann. The lawsuit targets Mars’ social media use of a photograph of himself taken by McGann when Mars was performing as an Elvis impersonator as a child.

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The content in this post was found at http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/12/02/bruno-mars-warner-music-defendants-copyright-lawsuit/id=90568/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Disney Slams Characters for Hire for Tarnishing the Disney Image

6 12 2017

One of the interesting theories posed by the case is Character for Hire’s claimed right to use Disney characters, which derive from Norse mythology or centuries-old fairy tales. In its response to Disney’s motion for summary judgment, Characters for Hire argues that many of the Plaintiffs’ copyrights are based on prior works that have been in the public domain for hundreds of years such as Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Princess Aurora, Beauty and the Beast, the Little Mermaid, Thor and Loki. “It will be interesting to see how the Court delineates between established fairy tale characters and the original expression added to them by Disney,” Furey said.

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The content in this post was found at http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/12/05/disney-slams-characters-for-hire-tarnishing-image/id=90649/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Court Rejects Gossip Site’s Fair Use Defense–Barcroft v. Coed Media

30 11 2017

This is a copyright lawsuit by owners of celebrity photos against a gossip and entertainment website. It’s noteworthy because it went to trial and the plaintiffs prevailed, but the damage award is modest.

The court finds that plaintiffs owns or validly acquires various celebrity and public interest photos—in this case photos of Salma Hayek, Amanda Bynes, Selena Gomez, Zooey Deschanel, and others. The defendant runs a range of pop culture websites that receive approximately four million unique users per month. Apparently, the defendant has lost money every month but one.

Case citation: Barcroft Media v. Coed Media Group, 2017 US Dist LEXIS 182024 (SDNY Nov. 2, 2017)

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The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2017/11/court-rejects-gossip-sites-fair-use-defense-barcroft-v-coed-media.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.